Where does a young couple go for support and guidance as they prepare for marriage? Some have the wisdom, courage, and resources to make use of pre-marital counseling. Others utilize relationship classes in churches, meet with marriage mentors, or complete workbooks. Many do nothing except perhaps an obligatory pre-wedding consult with the minister who is marrying them.
Unfortunately, it’s rare today for parents of the bride or groom to have opportunity to offer significant encouragement or wisdom, even if they have much to offer. Recently, Kristi and I developed a method for passing on a pre-marital blessing for our son and his fiancé who are soon to be married. It was like a marriage “Rite of Passage.”
We invited about a dozen married couples we know who are dedicated to Christ and have loving, enduring marriages to come to our home to help us bless our son and his fiancé by sharing a story from their marriage and a prayer. All our friends served as marriage mentors for the evening and a few people are doing this on an ongoing basis.
Both our son and his fiancé reported that this was a huge blessing for them — and all of our friends who attended were just as encouraged! It was a rich time of Christ-centered community sharing and prayer!
Elements in the Evening
If you have children or grandchildren who would appreciate a Pre-Marital Blessing Service you could follow the simple format we used:
- Casual, fun dinner
- Welcome and prayer
- Scripture meditation/prayer to bless the soon-to-be-wed couple (see below)
- Bride and groom share their “love story” of how they met and what they admire in each other
- Marriage mentors share a story of a challenge they’ve faced in their marriage and how God helped them through it (the key here is sharing a personal story rather than giving advice)
- Bride and groom share their thanks
- Everyone gathers around the bride and groom to pray over them with the ministry of the laying on of hands
Meditation on Colossians 3
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
- Listen for a word or phrase (men do this on behalf of groom and women do this on behalf of bride)
- Pray silently for the bride and groom’s relationship
- When prompted you’ll have opportunity to speak the word or phrase as a pre-marital blessing. (No explanation is needed at this time, just saying the word as a prayer.)